In a spate of farmer suicides in the MP’s Bundelkhand region, onus of debt forced another farmer to end his life on Sunday in Tikamgarh.
Kamla Raikwar, the 50 year-old resident of Mahura village hanged himself at his home on Sunday at 8am allegedly under pressure to repay the loan taken from moneylenders of the village.
A government report states that around 40 to 60 farmers committed suicide in drought-hit Bundelkhand comprising six districts of Madhya Pradesh and seven districts of Uttar Pradesh. Local estimates, however, claim the number to be at least 10 times higher. The region records almost one farmer death on every third day.
According to sources, the deceased farmer had taken a loan of about Rs 5 lakh for the treatment of his son Pawan Raikwar, 23, who had sustained serious injuries in an accident six month ago. However, instead of recovery, his condition worsened after treatment and he became mentally unstable.
Kamla was also worried about not getting drought relief as he had sought help of the local administration in vain regarding his son’s treatment. Besides, the drought situation in this year forced him to take the step, added the source.
However the local administration denied the allegations that he had been refused any help from them.
“The deceased farmer had a field of about 1 hectare and suffered substantial loss due to drought situation in the region. After calculating his loss, he was given a compensation of Rs 4,800 from the administration. But we were not aware of the fact that he borrowed a hefty amount of Rs 5 lakh from the moneylenders for his son’s treatment,” said tehsildar Niket Chourasiya.
The police have registered a case and are interrogating the family members of the deceased and other villagers.
“Police came to know about the incident on Sunday at around 3pm. We are investigating all angles of it,” said sub-divisional officer of police Hitesh Chaudhary.